UK’s biggest child sex gang uncovered as 45 men are arrested over abuse of girls as young as 13
- Most of the suspects are in their 20s with a few middle aged, up to their 60s
- Members of the gang are alleged to have abused four girls as young as 13
- Arrests follow year-long investigation into alleged sex abuse crimes in West Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 09:08, 18 August 2013
Police have arrested 45 men believed to be involved in the biggest child sex ring ever seen in the UK, it emerged today.
The arrests come after a year-long investigation into sex abuse allegations across three towns in West Yorkshire.
Most of the suspects – said to be white and Asian – are in their 20s but some of are said to be middle aged, up to their 60s.
Members of the gang are alleged to have abused four girls – some as young as 13 – over several years.
One member of the gang is said to have groomed the girls before having sex with one of them in front of his friends and passing her around to be abused.
Some of the men arrested were directly linked to each other while others were described as being ‘opportunistic’, the Sunday Mirror reports.
Head of the West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Inquiry team, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Brennan, told the newspaper: ‘These are serious allegations, which is why we have made a significant number of arrests to try and confirm or negate any criminality.
‘Although 45 people have been arrested they are not all directly linked. There has been a series of incidents over several years and we will investigate each and every one of them.
‘Some of the incidents involved a couple of people, while others involved more.’
The investigation involving 30 police officers is still ongoing and further arrests may be made.
All the alleged crimes are said to be historic – at least two years old.
The men have been bailed.
The arrests come after a series of high-profile child sex gang cases – including five men who were jailed for life in June for ‘crimes of the utmost gravity’ in Oxford.
Child sex gangs have also been caught in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire and Rotherham, South Yorkshire.